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Colleague started 5 weeks after me, teaching on same course, being paid more than me

(4 Posts)
wonderstuff99 Sun 23-Nov-14 20:25:39

Hi all,

Really could do with some advice here. I started a teaching job in September on a ten week contract (new company so everyone is on the same contract). Originally I was teaching with a guy who quit in week 5 so they hired someone else to replace him. She teaches the same class as me and does not do anything extra.

As she is new, she asked me to check her claim form for pay and whilst glancing at it I noticed she was being paid £4 more an hour than me. I was a bit peeved but then thought I could just renegotiate my hourly rate for my next contract. Now however, I will not be staying with them after this contract runs out (my choice) and I am wondering if I could pursue the avenue that they should have been paying me the same as her.

I have taught this type of course for 4 years and have been an English teacher for 7. It could be that she has more experience than me and it could also be that she has the qualification that is higher than mine. If this is the case, I presume I do not have a leg to stand on, but what if she has less/the same experience and level of qualifications as me?

I also discreetly mentioned it to 2 other members of staff (that I could trust) and they were shocked at what I was getting paid and that I should be getting paid at least £4 more an hour and that I should pursue it. One of the staff members has said she is happy to put her name to a letter stating we both thought we would all be on the same level of pay.

When I interviewed for this post, I had just left a horrific job and jumped at this offer so I do take some responsibility for not negotiating my pay. However, I also feel I have been taken advantage of as the other 2 staff members I spoke with about this said they were offered their rate of pay and didn't have to negotiate - 1 is getting paid £6.50 more an hour.

If anyone could tell me where I stand legally on this, I would really appreciate it. Thank you!

cheerup Mon 24-Nov-14 13:10:45

You don't have an equal pay claim under the Equality Act if your complaint is that you are paid less than other people of the same gender doing the same job. Unless you are covered by a collective agreement like NJC Green Book t&cs or your organisation has some other form of grading/pay structure based on job evaluation then you probably have two options, neither of which are a claim in law against your employer. The first is an informal chat saying that you know that your pay is significantly lower than that of your colleagues and as a result you are considering whether it's the right role for you etc etc indeed the fact that they are paid so much more suggests that you are being paid below market rate and would be able to do better elsewhere. The second is a grievance under your employers grievance policy. This is formal approach and would mean they would need to respond formally however the bottom line is that they are free to negotiate pay individually with each employee and so long as they are not in breach of equal pay (gender related) legislation you cannot compel them to resolve the disparity between you and you colleagues.

FunkyBoldRibena Mon 24-Nov-14 13:12:27

cheerup Mon 24-Nov-14 13:32:02

Thanks Ribena.

Good point in the other place about your right as an FTC to terms no less favourable overall than permanent employees. Assuming that at least some of your colleagues are on permanent contracts it might be worth looking at the Fixed Term Employees (Prevention of less favourable treatment) Regulations 2002 and the route this provides you with to seek an explanation from your employer.

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